LGBTQ INDIVIDUALS AND COUPLES ARE ENTITLED TO THE SAME PROTECTIONS UNDER THE LAW

For LGBTQ couples facing a divorce in Connecticut, the first thing they need to know is that the rights and protections afforded under the family laws in Connecticut apply to their divorce as they do to all divorcing couples. Although there are some unique legal concerns for LGBTQ couples I make sure that whether I am representing one individual in a divorce or acting as a divorce mediator for a couple, they are treated fairly in a safe environment and entitled to the same awards for alimony and property settlements that would apply in all divorce actions.

In Connecticut, same sex marriage became effective in October 2010. All those couples who entered into civil unions prior to October 2010 had their civil unions converted into a legal marriage and are entitled to all the same rights and protections as though they were always married.

CREATING A SAFE, OPEN AND HONEST ENVIRONMENT PUTS PEOPLE AT EASE AND REDUCES FEAR

During our initial consultation or mediation session, we will discuss issues relating to children such as custody, parenting and child support. For LGBTQ couples we discuss custody concerns such as adoption, surrogacy, guardianship and other issues when one of the parties is not the biological parent of a child, concerns that do not arise most times with non-LGBTQ couples. I discuss these concerns so the parties understand their legal rights as parents and guardians of their children. We discuss all other divorce related concerns such as alimony awards, property division including each party’s right to retirement and social security benefits as well as a fair and equitable division of assets.

From my years of experience working with LGBTQ couples, what I see most often is the fear of being treated differently and not being afforded the same legal rights as other couples, whether it involves their children or assets. So from the first meeting until the divorce is finalized I make sure we create a friendly, comfortable and safe environment where individuals can be free to share their concerns and feel empowered knowing they are going to have an open and honest process and ultimately a settlement that addresses all their needs and concerns.

I am also a referral source if the couple is dealing with custody or other parenting issues which need more expertise than I can provide, because the most important person in the room is always the client.